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Utility assistance program to provide assistance to Gainesville neighbors

Press release from City of Gainesville

The City of Gainesville has launched a new Coronavirus Relief Fund Utility Assistance program, expanding local relief and recovery efforts through direct assistance to neighbors negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The online application process opened today, September 15, and remains open until December 15 or until all funds have been depleted. The Gainesville City Commission approved the program and management of the funds during its meeting Thursday. 

The CRF Utility assistance program is designed to provide temporary financial assistance to Gainesville neighbors in extremely low-, very low- and low-and-moderate-income households through utility payments for energy, water, cable, phone (landline and cell) and/or internet services. 

Program eligibility is based on proof of income and lost wages as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Neighbors may be eligible to receive up to $1,250 in financial assistance. The financial assistance will be paid directly to the utility service provider on behalf of the applicant. 

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The new program is estimated to receive $350,511 with 10 percent allocated to program administration and $315,460 expected to assist more than 250 Gainesville households. 

As required by the State of Florida, funds must be expended by Dec. 30, 2020. CRF assistance is authorized through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Securities (CARES) Act. 

More information and an application link are available on the Utility Assistance Program web page or via utilityassistance@cityofgainesgville.org.

Assistance with the application process will be available Wednesday, Sept. 16 by dialing 352-332-4636 or 211, the free, 24/7 resource referral helpline provided by United Way of North Central Florida.

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